Build A School for Kids in Uganda

by Building Tomorrow, Inc.
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Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda
Build A School for Kids in Uganda

7 November 2011—Determined to have a borehole operational before the start of construction on a new Building Tomorrow academy, the village of Lukindu in the Lwengo District of Uganda took the first steps today in turning their ‘dream into reality.’

As a two-man crew worked with only the aid of a pick axe to dig the borehole, community members and future students planted a mango tree to commemorate the official start of construction of the Building Tomorrow Academy of Lukindu supported by the Segal Family Foundation. The academy will begin to take shape as early as this week on a ten acre plot donated to Building Tomorrow.

“We have dreamt of this for a very long time now,” District Minister of Education Saitoti Matovu said. “Many wish for a day like this to come but only few come to know it. It has reached us and we shall embrace it.”

In a brief ceremony attended by local government leaders and district officials, the community, divided into seven committees each coming from a particular village, committed themselves to working alongside Building Tomorrow staff in beginning work on the organization’s 11th site in Uganda. The future academy will open in 2012 with the aim of reaching its full capacity of 325 children in seven primary-level grades by 2015.

“We know you are serious, and we are too,” Building Tomorrow Country Director Joseph Kaliisa said. “Let’s be serious together and ensure our work here is a big success.”

Lwengo District, newly-formed In the beginning of 2011 is located in the Western region of Uganda, approximately 200km from the capital, Kampala. Students in the area have had to traverse a river with the aid of parents in order to attend the nearest public school, approximately 7km away. In rainy seasons, most end up staying home.

As the ceremony came to a close, Matovu added, “let us not only aim to educate the children of Lukindu, let us embark on grooming the future leaders of Uganda.”

digging a borehole

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About a year ago, Building Tomorrow teamed up with the Jukes Foundation for Kids to provide ten scholarships for students to continue their studies following their completion of P7, the final level of schooling offered at Building Tomorrow academies. Of the 19 students who sat for the nationwide Primary Leaving Exam (PLE), 17 passed, and almost all of them earned what is known here as a ’second-grade.’ Two of our students were two points away from first-grade distinction.

Out of context, this might not seem that impressive. But this fall, the Building Tomorrow Academy of Lutisi, the alma mater of these ten students, will become the first authorized test center for the PLE in the sub county. Up until this fall, as a primary-leaving candidate in Namayumba sub county, you had to travel a measurable distance to simply have the opportunity to take the exam.

No more.

This afternoon, Joseph Kaliisa, our Country Director and I, drove out to St. John’s Secondary School to meet with our Building Tomorrow alums. The crew had much to say of their life as secondary school students–the workload, making new friends and seeing more cars in one day than can be counted on both hands.

BT alumniback row: Moses, Alex and Medie & front row: Agnes, Justine, Rita, Bettie

For about an hour we shared a true African experience, talking under an acacia tree under an unrelenting sun. Moses told me of how his grandmother who lives in Lutisi sent word to his family living in the East of Uganda that a new school–and a good one, too–had recently opened in her village. Days later, Moses arrived in Lutisi and was enrolled at the Building Tomorrow Academy of Lutisi.

Agnes talked of being an anchorwoman; Rita and Justine spoke of their ‘excitement’ for the opportunity to read each day and to one day become nurses. Medie talked fondly of the generator–the generator that allows he and his classmates to study, even when it is dark outside. Moses talked about improving his English skills in order to become a lawyer, then asked if he could add one more thing.

“My mother and father told me that if I ever had the chance to say thank you on their behalf, I should take it. Not only have you helped me, but them, too.”

Alex looked up and said, “me too, we are all just grateful to have been introduced to civilization.”

Floored, I stopped taking notes.

Civilization.

Joseph and I looked at one another and let the silence sink in. Wrongly, I thought changing the subject might help soften things up. I asked everyone what advice they’d give their peers when they next go home. Alex lunged forward.

“I tell them to respect your teachers, read your books and reach what we haven’t; get first grades and make us all proud.”

Joseph stood up, later confessing it was so that no one could see his eyes well up. Though fighting the same urge, I couldn’t stop smiling.

“No, you all make us very, very proud.”

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This summer Building Tomorrow has revamped its blog with the help of our amazing interns. Below are a few excerpts. Check out www.buildingtomorrow.org/blog to follow our updates all summer long! 

Build

This summer we are trying to boost our support base on Twitter and we thought who better to help us than rapper extraordinaire, Ellen Degeneres. So we wrote a little ditty to the tune of her favorite song, that we think you (and Ellen, obviously) will enjoy. Go ahead, click ‘play’, and if you like what you see, be sure to show all your friends. With your help it might make its way all the way to Ellen!

Check out the video here!

Be sure to follow @bldgtomorrow on twitter!

 

Random Opportunities of Kindness

Ellie Chernosky of the University of Texas at Austin contacted us out of the blue about getting involved. As philanthropy chair for her sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, she was looking for a meaningful cause for the chapter to get involved with. She was researching online when she stumbled across our small but mighty organization. She was taken with BT’s purpose and knew that it was the perfect cause for Kappa to rally around. In an email that she recently sent us, she said that after exploring our website—particularly www.calculateit.org—and learning about our other active college chapters, she was excited about Building Tomorrow’s mission and all the ways there are to fundraise and tell others about the cause.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why We Do What We Do - A BT Intern's Point of View

The number of charities and organizations representing various causes can be overwhelming. The search term “non-profit organizations” itself gets 38,800,000 hits on Google. So it’s reasonable for me to consider my position, giving up my summer for no pay as an intern at one of those establishments, and ask myself a fundamental question. “Why?” Among all the things one could devote herself to, is building schools in a country all the way across the ocean actually important? Is it necessary? Is it worth it? And why Building Tomorrow?

Education is important. To make that education obtainable, schools are necessary. And if I can improve another person’s life by building that infrastructure, then working at Building Tomorrow is definitely worth it.

 

Thank you again for your support of Building Tomorrow!

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What does an education cost?

www.calculateit.org

Building Tomorrow launched a new online tool this year enabling anyone that went to school in the US to calculate the cost of their elementary education. All you need to do is enter the year you were born and the state where you went to school.

My 1st through 7th grade education cost $56,077. Building Tomorrow can provide a child in Uganda with an P1-P7 education for $350. That difference is outstanding. And for just $10 I can help Building Tomorrow build another classroom.

I'd like to invite you to calculate the cost of your education here and share your results with friends and family.

   


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After cutting the ceremonial ribbon to officially declare the new Building Tomorrow (BT) Academy of Jomba open, Vice President of Uganda Gilbert Bukenya strapped on his dancing shoes and joined the singing and dancing led by a chorus of future students to celebrate the completion of the area’s first permanently-built school structure.

The BT Academy of Jomba will first welcome students on Monday, February 21 with the capacity to eventually house 325 kids in grades Primary One through Primary Seven (US equivalent of 1st-7th grade). The Academy, a 10-room structure constructed with the support of the City of Indianapolis and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls becomes the first permanently-built school structure in an immediate area serving students from the villages of Jomba, Kibone, Kitinda, and Kawooya. Jomba-outside

“What has been done here is a very wonderful thing,” Bukenya said. “And today I pledge to pay for the construction of teacher’s quarters at this very place, with funds of my own.”

The Vice President’s commitment, similar to one he made to construct teacher’s quarters at the recently-opened BT Academy of Sentigi, was met with great excitement by community parents and guardians who have made good on their own pledge to provide 20,000 of unskilled labor to construct the Academy.

“The first time I came here, we sat under that tree and had a meeting,” BT Uganda Country Director Joseph Kalisa said. “And today we see the excitement of this place and these people for the opening of this very, very strong academy.”Jomba-thanks

Students at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls have raised over $15,000 to support the construction of the Academy through a host of events ranging from “The Big Event,” a homecoming concert headlined by award winning singer Shawn Mullins to BT’s signature on-campus philanthropy, Bike to Uganda.

BT Academies are constructed out of all local supplies, including over 50,000 hand crafted bricks, local timber and other aggregate materials. BT partners with the local ministry of education to fund the ongoing costs related to teacher salaries and provides continuing teacher training for BT Academy staff.

BT is an international social-profit organization encouraging philanthropy among young people by raising awareness and funds to build and support educational infrastructure projects for underserved children in sub-Saharan Africa. BT works with a college network of nearly 25 chapters nationwide and has a partnership with the 245,000 members-strong Key Club International, the world’s largest high school service organization. The BT Academy of Jomba is the seventh location built and opened by the organization, which now has space to accommodate over 2,400 students throughout Uganda.

Check out the video link attached to see footage of the Academy and celebrations from the opening!

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Organization Information

Building Tomorrow, Inc.

Location: Indianapolis, IN - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @bldgtomorrow
Project Leader:
Eric Smolen
Indianapolis, IN United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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